Concepts, Islamic Culture, Side Feature

Gardens of Jannah: Regarding Amulets and Dua for Healing

It is narrated from Sahl ibn Saad (ra), that the Prophet ﷺ said, «لَيَدْخُلَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ مِنْ أُمَّتِي سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا، أَوْ سَبْعُمِائَةِ أَلْفٍ مُتَمَاسِكُونَ، آخِذٌ بَعْضُهُمْ بَعْضًا (صفًا واحدًا بعضهم بجنب بعض). لاَ يَدْخُلُ أَوَّلُهُمْ حَتَّى يَدْخُلَ آخِرُهُمْ (أي أن دخولهم يكون في وقت واحد) وَجُوهُهُمْ عَلَى صُورَةِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ “Seventy thousand, or seven hundred thousand of my Ummah will enter Jannah*, together, holding on to each other (that is, with one’s hand in the other, and moving in the same row) and not one of them would enter before another (That is, all of them will enter Paradise simultaneously) and their faces will shine like the moon of the fourteenth.”

*Abu Haazim, who is the narrator of this hadith did not remember whether Sahl called seventy thousand or seven hundred thousand

Ibn Abbas (ra) reported from the Prophet ﷺ,

«عُرِضَتْ عَلَيَّ الأُمَمُ، فَرَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ وَمَعَهُ الرُّهَيْطُ (تصغير الرهط وهو الجماعة دون العشرة). وَالنَّبِيَّ وَمَعَهُ الرَّجُلُ وَالرَّجُلاَنِ. وَالنَّبِيَّ لَيْسَ مَعَهُ أَحَدٌ؛ إِذْ رُفِعَ لِي سَوَادٌ عَظِيمٌ (العدد الكبير الذي يُرى من بعيد) فَظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُمْ أُمَّتِي، فَقِيلَ لِي: هٰذَا مُوسَىٰ وَقَوْمُهُ، وَلٰكِنِ انْظُرْ إِلَى الأُفُقِ. فَنَظَرْتُ، فَإِذَا سَوَادٌ عَظِيم، فَقِيلَ لِي: انْظُرْ إِلَى الأُفُقِ الآخَرِ؛ فَإِذَا سَوَادٌ عَظِيمٌ (جاء في رواية عند البخاري:« فرأيت سوادًا كثيرًا سد الأفق). فَقِيلَ لِي: هٰذِهِ أُمَّتُكَ، وَمَعَهُمْ سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ وَلاَ عَذَابٍ». ثُمَّ نَهَضَ فَدَخَلَ مَنْزِلَهُ. فَخَاضَ النَّاسُ (تكلموا وتناظروا وانتشر الصوت) فِي أُولٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ وَلاَ عَذَابٍ. فَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ: فَلَعَلَّهُمُ الَّذِينَ صَحِبُوا رَسُولَ اللّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، وَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ: فَلَعَلَّهُمُ الَّذِينَ وُلِدُوا فِي الإِسْلاَمِ وَلَمْ يُشْرِكُوا بِالله، وَذَكَرُوا أَشْيَاءَ، فَخَرَجَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَسُولُ اللّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ: «مَا الَّذِي تَخُوضُونَ فِيهِ؟» فَأَخْبَرُوهُ. فَقَالَ: «هُمُ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَرْقُونَ (لا يقرؤون على غيرهم بالرقية). وَلاَ يَسْتَرْقُونَ (لا يطلبون من أحد أن يرقيهم، لقوة اعتمادهم على الله)، وَلاَ يَتَطَيَّرُونَ (مأخوذة من الطير، وأصله التشاؤم بالطير الذي كان منتشرًا في الجاهلية، ولكنه يعمُّ كل تشاؤم بمرئي أو مسموع أو زمان أو مكان)، وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ» (وهذا هو الأصل الجامع الذي تفرعت منه الأفعال السابقة وهو التوكل على الله وصدق اللجأ إليه)». فَقَامَ عُكَّاشَةُ بْنُ مِحْصَنٍ. فَقَالَ: ادْعُ الله أَنْ يَجْعَلَنِي مِنْهُمْ. فَقَالَ: «أَنْتَ مِنْهُمْ» (وفي رواية البخاري قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم:«اللهم اجعله منهم») ثُمَّ قَامَ رَجُلٌ آخَرُ فَقَالَ: ادْعُ الله أَنْ يَجْعَلَنِي مِنْهُمْ. فَقَالَ: «سَبَقَكَ بِهَا عُكَّاشَةُ». ولمسلم من حديث عمران: «وَلاَ يَكْتَوُونَ» (لا يطلبون من أحد أن يكويهم من باب العلاج)» وهي عند البخاري من حديث ابن عباس.

(Translation) “Prophets and their Ummahs were shown to me; A Prophet was such that the people of his Ummah were numbering less than ten, while some prophets were with just one or two men, and still there were some Prophets who had not a single Ummati with them. Meantime, an Ummah having huge numbers appeared (i.e. a great number of people started approaching from a distance). I thought that this was my Ummah, but I was told that they were Musa (AS) and his Ummah. Then I was told to gaze at the sky. When I looked at it, I saw another group of people in even greater numbers, I was told to look to the other edge (As narrated by Bukhari, the number of people was such that the whole sky got covered by their numbers). Then I was told that this is the Ummah of Allah (swt), and among them are seventy thousand, who will enter Paradise without any reckoning and punishment. According to the narration, the Prophet ﷺ then got up and left for his house. Then the people started discussing about what the Prophet had said (discussion started heating up, and voices rising) i.e. regarding those who entered Paradise. Someone said that maybe they may be companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, while others said that they may be people who will be born Muslims and will have never associated anything with Allah, while others said something else. At this the Messenger of Allah ﷺ emerged from his house and asked: What are you arguing about? The people then told the Prophet ﷺ of the discussion. To which, the Prophet replied: “These are the people who neither blow after chants or use amulets nor believe in superstitions (because their trust and reliance on Almighty Allah is strong) and neither do they indulge in ominous practices i.e. discuss false omens which foretell an evil (this is derived from the word “طیر”, which essentially means discussing omens, which was a widespread practice during the times of ignorance, and it includes all manner of things, whether related to the ones who are seen or heard, or related to time and place) and they solely rely on their Lord and Creator Allah (swt), trusting Him only (this is the comprehensive principle from which all actions and characters are nourished, that is, seeking refuge in Allah (swt) and submitting to Him with sincerity). Upon hearing this, Ukaashah bin Mihsan stood up, and said to the Prophet ﷺ: “Please pray that Allah (swt) makes me one of these people. He replied, “You are one of them.” (In the narration of Sahih Bukhari, the Prophet ﷺ said: “O Allah, make these people one of them”). Then another person rose up, and asked the Prophet to pray for him to be counted among those people also. To which Prophet ﷺ said: “Ukaashah has asked this before you.” Imam Muslim narrated a Hadith from Imran (RA), and in this it is said that “They do not stain (through fire, themselves, or others, for cure)” Bukhari has reported this Hadith from Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him).

The Hadith establishes the elevated position and status in front of Allah (swt), in the Aakhirah, of the person who depends (makes Tawwakul) solely on Allah (swt). Such a person would enter Paradise without any reckoning and punishment, as he depends only on Allah instead of blowing after chants, or indulges in omens, superstitions and cauterizing (through fire). This is a sign of a high level of Tawwakul on Allah (swt). The hadith also mentions the virtues of the Prophet ﷺ by mentioning the abundance of his followers, and the superiority of this Ummah over other Ummahs, and that there would be people from among his (saw’s) Ummah, who would be highly reliant on Allah (swt) only. There are many levels of Imaan, and the highest of which is dependence on Allah (swt).

As far as the Shara’i ruling on blowing after reciting Quran (Ruqya) is concerned, it is permissible to do, but it is superior to leave your matter with Allah (swt). Blowing after reciting the divine names of Allah (swt), or the dua’s narrated from the Prophet ﷺ, are all permissible. However, it is also important to believe that these actions are not effective in themselves, but their potency is only if Allah (swt) wills it. The scholars are of the opinion that this is also evident from the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ, as he used to recite Ayah and blow upon the sick. In the Sahiheen, the same is evident of the Hadith narrated by A’isha (ra), in which it is mentioned that Jibreel (as) did this action on the Prophet ﷺ.  The Sahaba also used to recite Ayah and divine names and then blew, and so did A’isha (ra). This is as in the agreed upon Hadith narrated by Abu Saeed (ra) in which a Sahabi recited and puffed on a sick village commander. Upon knowing this, the Prophet ﷺ asked Abu Saeed (ra),  «وما أدراك أنها رقية»“How did you know that it could be done like this?” The scholars also carry this opinion that if someone does good to another, then why should it be asked from him to withhold his kindness? A person asked the Prophet ﷺ, “O Prophet of Allah ﷺ, Can I recite and blow? He ﷺ said,  «من استطاع منكم أن ينفع أخاه فليفعل»”If any of you can benefit his brother, he should do so.” It has been narrated by Muslim, that Prophet ﷺ said:  «لا بأس بالرقى ما لم تكن شركًا» “It does not matter if there is no associate shirk with blow.”

As far as the saying of the Prophet ﷺ, “they do not recite and blow” is concerned, it means they do not demand a “recitation and blow” in anyone else’s name other than Allah (swt). This means that anyone who wishes to attain seventy thousand virtues, i.e. Heaven without punishment or reckoning, should not recite and blow, because in the hadith, the word استرقاء is mentioned. Here the letters الف, س and ت indicate demand.

This means that the people who will enter Jannah without judgment do not demand a blow after any recitation, despite it being permissible, which is a sign of complete trust and surrendering of one’s self to Allah (swt), and it is a sign of disassociating their faith from everyone else except Allah (swt). Therefore, the practitioner of the blowing after recitation believes that it is permissible, and that there is healing in it only if Allah (swt) wills it. Likewise, he also believes that Allah (swt) alone is the Healer, and He (swt) knows the person’s true condition; it is Allah (swt) who grants success in his work, and alleviates his condition. A Muslim who relinquishes blowing means that he is willing to do what pleases Allah (swt); that is, he is submitting all of his affairs to the will of Allah (swt), whether he gets healed or not, i.e. all of his matter rest with Allah (swt).

As far as the Hadith is concerned, the words “لَاَ يَتَطَيَّرُونَ” (this is taken from طیر, which means bird), it actually means to prophesize bad omens from the actions of a bird, as was the custom in ancient Arabia. It was generally well known in the old days that when a bird from the north appeared, or flew backwards, the Arabs would take is as a negative omen, and if it turned forwards, then it would be taken as a good omen, and this is why omens were generally known as تَطَیُّر, i.e. related to a bird. However, this was essentially generalized to be any omen, whether related to a bird or not, for example, upon hearing an unpleasant noise, and it was a common practice to associate it with one’s present or future destiny and to continue spending their night and day waiting for that. It also happens that a thing becomes known to the people, which itself has no grounding in reality, but they start believing it to be true and then they start taking it as being ominous. For example, considering certain days as being beneficial or harmful. The ruling of Islam on taking omens from a thing which is seen, heard or known is forbidden.

The hadith quoted from Abu Hurairah in the Sahihin indicates its prohibition. Prophet ﷺ said: «لا عدوى ولا طيرة» وعن أنس رضي الله عنه قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «لا عدوى ولا طيرة ويعجبني الفأل» قالوا: وما الفأل؟ قال صلى الله عليه وسلم: «الكلمة الطيبة» “There are no superstitions, no bad omens.” The Prophet ﷺ was quoted by Anas (ra) as saying: “There are no superstitions, no bad omens, and I like good omens.” The companions asked: “What is a good omen?” The Prophet ﷺ replied: “A virtuous thing.” This Hadith is agreed upon. Therefore, the Hadith condemns bad omens. Belief in bad omens is also contrary to the faith in Tawheed (oneness of Allah (swt)), due to the fact that the practitioner of bad omens loses depends in Allah (swt) and instead relies on other things, and builds a relationship with something that has no reality.

As far as this view (وَلَا يْكْتَوُونَ) “Do not cauterize” is concerned, it shows that cauterizing (through fire) and healing through the act of cauterizing (through fire) hinders the pursuit of the attaining the virtue of the seventy thousand. There have been numerous arguments regarding the act of cauterizing (through fire); some of them condemn it, while others point to its permissibility.

Consequently, Ibn Abbas (ra) was quoted in Sahiheen, the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ as saying: «الشفاء في ثلاث: في شرطة محجم، أو شربة عسل، أو كيٍ بنار، وأنا أنهى أمتي عن الكي» “Healing is in three things, in the scalpel of a hijama, or in consumption of honey or setting cauterizing through fire, but I forbid my Ummah from cauterizing (through fire).” In another narration of the Sahiheen, it is reported that the Prophet ﷺ that the Prophet cauterized (through fire) Saad ibn Ma’ad. It is due to these Ahadith that there is a disagreement within the scholars regarding the ruling on cauterizing. It may be justified, especially on the occasion of need, and Allah (swt) knows best. And what is giving an indication of it being abhorred upon in the Hadith means that abandoning this would be the better practice.

Ibn Qayyim (ra) categorized all of these evidences very nicely. He said, “There are four types of Ahadith: One indicates it (cauterizing through fire) being performed, the other hadith indicating that Prophet ﷺ disliked it, the third praises the one who leaves the practice of cauterizing, and the fourth forbids it. However, there is no contradiction or inconsistency between these Ahadith. Because the action of the Prophet ﷺ in cauterizing Saad bin Muaadh justifies that it can be done, but that the Prophet ﷺ did not like it, does not indicate its forbiddance. And the praise of the one who leaves this practice indicates that it is best to leave it. As far as forbidding it is concerned, it either means abhorring it, or a causing a cauterize (through fire) when it is isn’t necessary (to cure a sickness), but rather because of fear of (future) illnesses. (Zad al-Ma’ad, Li Ibn al-Qa’im al-Jawzia)

As far as the Prophet (saw’s) statement «وَعَل فض رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ»they solely depend on their Lord” is concerned, it refers to the virtue of depending on Allah and its elevated position. These are the words that are the essence of all the preceding attributes; that is, they (the seventy thousand who will enter Jannah without judgment or punishment) do not ask for amulets or (indulge in seeking) bad omens, and depend solely on their Lord (swt). They avoid these matters because they have complete Tawwakul in Allah (swt).

What exactly is Tawwakul on Allah (swt)? It is the true and sincere dependence on Allah (swt)’s mercy in a matter, and adopting the means necessary for that as well. The satisfaction that they have with the thought that Allah is sufficient for him as Allah has revealed وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسۡبُهُ “Whoever trusts in Allah, then Allah is sufficient for him.”

Dependence on Allah (swt) demands that a person strives to attain the objectives, as inaction indicates laziness and not dependence on Allah (swt). Ibn al-Qayyim has said: People are in agreement that reliance (on Allah swt) is not contradictory to exerting efforts (for an objective). Dependence (on Allah swt) would only be correct, if the person also makes an effort for such an objective. (Madarij As-Saalaken). It is also permissible that a person expresses his intentions that he has relied upon Allah (swt) in such and such matter. Secondly, it is also a manifestation of one’s devotion and obedience to Allah (swt).


Al-Waie magazine 398